Former Alabama freshman safety Caleb Downs is transferring to Ohio State, a source told ESPN.
Downs led the Crimson Tide in total tackles this season with 107 and was the first true freshman in program history to do so. He was a five-star prospect in the 2023 class, taken No. 11 overall and was the No. 1 safety from Houshton, Georgia.
Downs entered the transfer portal on January 17, and many thought he would end up at Georgia. Former defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson joined the Georgia staff and despite efforts by new Alabama coach Calen DeBoer to bring Robinson back to the Alabama staff, Robinson remained in place with the Dawgs.
Downs had considered Ohio State during his recruitment, and the Buckeyes were thought to be second only to Alabama at the time.
Ohio State's coaches got another chance to recruit Downs, and after taking an in-house visit with Downs and his family, he now transfers to Ohio State.
He has three years of eligibility remaining and will immediately contribute to a Buckeyes defense that has improved dramatically in Year 2 under defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.
Downs adds to an already extensive list of impact transfers coming in for the Buckeyes with Kansas State quarterback Will Howard, Ole Miss running back Quincheon Judkins and Alabama center Seth McLaughlin.